Federal Court reinstates unionists

November 11, 2006

On November 10, the Federal Court ordered the reinstatement on full pay and conditions of two retrenched National Union of Workers (NUW) delegates because their employer was unable to prove that its decision to dismiss them was unrelated to their union activities.

Tony Seymour and Jeff Gearin were compulsorily retrenched in September for what their employer, Saint-Gobain Abrasives Pty Ltd, described as a lack of skills. The two men were employed at the company's Lidcombe site.

NUW NSW secretary Derrick Belan said the company was intent on getting rid of the delegates so it could force the other workers off a collective agreement and onto individual contracts (AWAs). The Federal Court will decide later this year the penalties to be imposed on the company.

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